Interviewing for a new job can be an incredibly daunting experience. As someone with anxiety and panic disorder, I understand the overwhelming pressure and fear that can come with job interviews. The whole interview process can even physically and mentally affect people so much that they won’t apply for a new position.

For many, the anticipation of an interview triggers a cascade of anxious thoughts: What if I don’t have the right answers? What if I forget something important? What if I’m not good enough? And let’s not forget imposter syndrome. These questions can spiral, leading to physical symptoms such as a racing heart, sweating, trembling, and even feelings of impending doom. This type of anxiety is not just uncomfortable; it can be debilitating.

One of the most challenging aspects of interview anxiety is its unpredictability. Despite thorough preparation and practice, the fear of the unknown can still take hold. This is a reality that many people, including myself, face regularly. The pressure to perform well, coupled with the fear of judgement, can create an overwhelming mental barrier.

6 ways to manage interview anxiety

1. Preparation and practice

Familiarise yourself with common interview questions and practice your responses. This can help build confidence and reduce uncertainty.

Use the STAR method for a simple and structured way to answer questions that is easy to remember during the interview.

2. Mindfulness and relaxation techniques

Techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation can help calm your mind and body before and during the interview.

3. Positive visualisation

Imagine yourself succeeding in the interview. Visualising positive outcomes can help shift your mindset and reduce anxiety.

4. Professional support

Consider speaking with a therapist or counsellor specialising in anxiety. They can provide personalised strategies and support.

You might also benefit from executive coaching to help with your career aspirations, including interview preparation and different techniques to reduce stress – read our blog post on choosing a coach.

5. Mock interviews

Conduct mock interviews with a friend or mentor to simulate the interview environment. This can help desensitise you to the process and build confidence.

A mock interview also gives you an opportunity to revise your interview answers once more and put using the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) in practice.

6. Self-compassion

Remind yourself that it’s okay to feel anxious. Acknowledge your feelings without judgement and recognise that many people share this experience.

Focus on the positive instead – every interview is an opportunity to step outside your comfort zone, grow and build up your confidence over the long term.

If your interview anxiety is caused by previous negative interview feedback, you might also want to learn how to accept and learn from feedback in the future.

At Peridot, we understand the significant impact that anxiety can have on the interview process. We are committed to creating an environment that is supportive and accommodating to all candidates. We believe in the importance of acknowledging and addressing these challenges to ensure that everyone has a fair and positive interview experience.

If you find yourself struggling with interview anxiety, please know that you are not alone. Our team is dedicated to making the interview process as stress-free as possible, and we take into consideration the unique challenges faced by individuals with anxiety and other related conditions.

In conclusion, while interview anxiety is a common and often challenging experience, it is manageable with the right strategies and support. We encourage you to reach out, prepare thoroughly, and approach each interview with confidence. Remember, we are here to help you succeed and are committed to supporting your journey every step of the way.

Paloma Zamora is a Principal Consultant in our Awarding and Skills recruitment practice. Having worked in the education sector since 2015, Paloma is inspired by the way awarding and skills organisations can equip a generation of people to improve their communities.

You can connect with Paloma on Linkedin, or email her at to learn more about recruiting the right trustees for your awarding organisation.